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Economy of Switzerland – Overview
Switzerland ranks as the 15th largest export economy in the world with annual exports of $302 billion and a positive trade balance of $34.7 billion (after deducting yearly imports of $268 billion).
The GDP of Switzerland was last calculated at $659 billion and that equates to a GDP per capita of $62,900.
The country has managed to increase its annual exports at an annualized rate of 4.42% over the last five years, rising from $283 billion to $302 billion during that period.
Switzerland has always been a country that has supported a position of international neutrality and this has helped it achieve a stable economy, with low unemployment and a GDP per capita that is among the highest in the world.
Switzerland’s Top 5 Commodity Exports
Switzerland’s Other Notable Exports
- Packaged Medicaments – $39.7 billion
- Human or Animal Blood – $26.2 billion
- Base Metal Watches – $12.1 billion
- Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds – $8.45 billion
- Jewelry – $10.8 billion
Switzerland’s top export destinations are Germany ($43.7 billion), the U.S.A ($37 billion), the UK ($32.7 billion), China ($27.3 billion) and Hong Kong ($18.6 billion).
Switzerland’s Top 5 Commodity Imports
|Refined Petroleum||$3.38 billion|
Switzerland's Other Notable Imports
- Packaged Medicaments – $16.6 billion
- Cars – $10.3 billion
- Computers – $3.2 billion
- Orthopedic Appliances – $1.82 billion
- Wine – $1.08 billion
More Information About Switzerland’s Commodities
Switzerland is the world's leading exporter of gold, enjoying a 28% share of an annual export market worth $288 billion. The nearest rivals are Hong Kong (19%) and the United States (6.1%).
Although Switzerland is the biggest exporter of gold, it is actually ranked 8th globally in terms of the number of gold reserves it holds. According to World Gold Council figures, Switzerland has 1,040 tonnes, compared to the United States who are top-ranked with 8,133 tonnes.
Switzerland is the ninth largest exporter of diamonds and has a 1.6% share of an annual export market valued at £128 billion.
The country has managed to increase the value of its diamond exports over the last five years by 14.2%.
European countries control 34.8% of global coffee exports and Switzerland is the continent’s 2nd largest exporter of coffee with a 6.7% share of an annual world export market worth $30.6 billion.
Switzerland has managed to grow the value of its coffee exports by 14.1% in the last five years.
Higher coffee bean prices charged by Swiss exporters than their counterparts and specializing in selling small quantities in specific formats, such as pods manufactured in factories based in Switzerland, mean that the average price paid for roasted coffee exported out of Switzerland is often about 3.5 times the international average.
Switzerland is the fifth largest exporter of electricity and has a 7.3% share of an annual export market valued at $22.3 billion.
Neighbouring Italy is the major destination for Switzerland’s electricity exports, with a 70% share, followed by France (18%), Germany (11%) and Austria (0.94%).
The global platinum export market is worth $21.3 billion per year and Switzerland is the seventh largest exporter with a 4.5% market share.
The country has posted a 78% decline in the value of its platinum exports in the last five years.
Interesting Facts About Switzerland
- Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world but enjoys one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries.
- Teaching is one of the highest paid occupations in Switzerland with an average salary of $68,000.
- The Swiss government has mandated to provide every citizen with a bomb shelter and almost everyone has ready access to one.
- Swiss people have the second longest life expectancy rates in the world, after Japan.
All figures based on OEC/IMF 2016 projections unless otherwise stated.